What to Eat on the Hashimoto’s Disease Diet

Feeling sluggish, exhausted, and depressed all the time?

You might just be one of the 14 million people suffering from Hashimoto’s Disease in the United States.

While this autoimmune disease can’t be cured, eating certain foods helps to manage symptoms and decrease discomfort. Keep reading for an essential guide on what to eat on the Hashimoto’s Disease diet.

What Is Hashimoto’s Disease?

Hashimoto’s is a chronic auto-immune disease. Your body’s immune system starts to attack your thyroid cells, causing inflammation and damaging the thyroid gland so that it cannot perform its proper functioning. The causes of Hashimoto’s are still unclear, but scientists have a number of theories as to why it develops. You can read more about the science behind Hashimoto’s here.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. It forms an important part of the endocrine system and is vital to many bodily functions. This is because it’s responsible for releasing and regulating the hormones that control these functions.

Managing the Symptoms of Hashimoto’s

Unfortunately, if you receive a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, it’s for life. However, the disease can be managed with a few essential lifestyle changes. These include regular exercise, medications, and diet. Dietary changes will help to manage the symptoms of Hashimoto’s. But before we look at any dietary changes, let’s take a quick look at what these symptoms actually are

The most common symptoms include becoming easily fatigued, hair loss, unexplained weight gain, brittle skin and nails, and constipation. As the disease progresses you might also begin to notice muscle stiffness and aches, weakness, and depression.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from Hashimoto’s the best thing to do is visit a doctor. Your doctor should take a blood sample to measure your thyroid hormone levels and confirm a diagnosis. Along with medication, dietary changes are essential.

The Hashimoto’s Disease diet

Thankfully, the right kind of diet can assist in managing the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. Because all cases are different, it might take some trial and error to develop a combination of diet and medication that works for you.

However, these are the foods that have proven to be the most promising in managing the symptoms of Hashimoto’s.

Foods to Include in Your Hashimoto’s Diet

Because Hashimoto’s leads to the inflammation of the thyroid gland, your best bet is to go for an anti-inflammatory diet. This involves consuming a lot of fruit and veggies.

A diet consisting of foods like tomatoes, olive oil, fatty fish, and nuts is great at combating inflammation. Getting leafy greens is also important when it comes to fighting inflammation. Foods like kale, spinach, and bok choi can also be included in a thyroid-friendly diet.

Hashimoto’s sufferers also tend to suffer from low vitamin D levels. A couple of minutes in the sunshine is great for keeping your vitamin D levels up.

However, if you’re unable to spend time in the sun, there are a couple of foods to include in your diet that are great sources of vitamin D. These include fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and swordfish. For vegans and vegetarians, mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin D.

Overall, a diet rich in fruits, veggies, healthy fats, fiber, and proteins will help to manage weight and keep those thyroid hormones in check.

It’s also a good idea to take supplements that reduce inflammation and help to manage symptoms. These include probiotics, selenium, and iron.

Foods to Avoid in Your Hashimoto’s Disease Diet

As with any illness, a Hashimoto’s diet also involves restricting certain food groups. Research shows that a gluten and grain-free diet might help to manage symptoms of Hashimoto’s. This is because going gluten-free reduced inflammation and improved thyroid functioning and vitamin D levels.

This diet may also help to manage Hashimoto’s because people who suffer from Hashimoto’s often also suffer from celiac disease. Celiac disease is another autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the small intestine and severe intolerance to gluten.

Replace foods like white pasta, white bread, and other baked goods with healthier alternatives. These might include quinoa, brown rice, and rolled oats. After a couple of months of a gluten-free diet, you should find digestive symptoms a whole lot easier to manage. Eliminating gluten improves digestion and gets rid of uncomfortable bloating.

It’s also recommended that people who suffer from Hashimoto’s try to eliminate dairy. Some people will also suffer from lactose intolerance with hypothyroidism.

This, however, depends on the case. The best thing to do is to eliminate dairy for a month or so to see if this helps. Avoid foods like cheeses, milk, and yogurt. Luckily, there are a number of dairy replacements that can supplement your dietary requirements. These include soymilk, almond milk, and oat milk. Dairy-free cheeses made from coconut and other oils are also becoming increasingly popular.

It goes without saying that highly processed foods, sugars, and fried foods should always be consumed in moderation or cut out entirely. Foods like chocolate, baked goods, candy, microwave dinners, and fast food are likely to worsen digestive symptoms and make feelings of sluggishness worse. These calorie-high foods will also make weight management more difficult. To avoid putting extra strain on your thyroid, weight management is essential.

The Bottom Line

There’s no one size fits all approach to the Hashimoto’s disease diet. These are just a few ideas of what to eat if you suffer from Hashimoto’s disease. It’s essential that you consult your doctor before attempting any dietary modifications. Each case is different, so find out what works best for you!

We regularly update our blog with all the latest health and wellness tips and tricks. If you want to read more about mental and physical well-being, take a look at our lifestyle section.